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Rugby | Six Nations

Remy Grosso © Gallo Images

France reshuffle back line to face Italy

France coach Jacques Brunel reshuffled his attacking line as Les Bleus look to end an eight-game winless streak when they face Italy in the Six Nations on Friday.

Brunel kept faith in scrumhalf Maxime Machenaud and flyhalf Lionel Beauxis after the 32-26 defeat by Scotland, but added fresh blood to the outside backs for the game in Marseille.

Winger Remy Grosso replaced the disappointing Virimi Vakatawa and Benjamin Fall came in for Teddy Thomas, France's only try scorer in the championship who was left out of the squad after several players were sanctioned for going out late in Edinburgh 10 days ago.

Mathieu Bastareaud was named at centre in place of Remi Lamerat and Hugo Bonneval replaced Geoffrey Palis at fullback.

Geoffrey Doumayrou retained his spot at centre alongside Bastareaud.

The pack was unchanged apart from Paul Gabrillagues coming in for the injured Arthur Iturria in the second row.

France and Italy lost their first two matches in the tournament, the Azzurri conceding 102 points in defeats by England and Ireland.


15-Hugo Bonneval, 14-Benjamin Fall, 13-Mathieu Bastareaud, 12-Geoffrey Doumayrou, 11-Remy Grosso, 10-Lionel Beauxis, 9-Maxime Machenaud, 8-Marco Tauleigne, 7-Yacouba Camara, 6-Wenceslas Lauret, 5-Sebastien Vahaamahina, 4-Paul Gabrillagues, 3-Rabah Slimani, 2-Guilhem Guirado (captain), 1-Jefferson Poirot

Replacements: 16-Adrien Pelissie, 17-Dany Priso, 18-Cedate Gomes Sa, 19-Romain Taofifenua, 20-Kelian Galletier, 21-Baptiste Couilloud, 22-Francois Trinh-Duc, 23-Gael Fickou.


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